“I have a lot of me time where I’m just thinking” – Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek on Time Management and Prioritization

I’m really organized. I don’t do social calls. For so many people, you’re beholden to this social thing, if I don’t show up, someone is going to be sad. I’m just pretty ruthless in prioritizing. What I tell my friends is, I like to be invited, but I probably won’t come. The transparency helps. This is how I’m wired. It’s not a personal thing. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy your company. It’s just means that I’m focusing on something.

I also write out what my daily, weekly, monthly goals are, and every evening I check how I’m doing. And then I just over allocate my time [to match the goals]. People think that creativity is this free spirit that has no boundaries. No, actually the most creative people in the world schedule their creativity. That’s the irony. So I try to do the same. I just don’t have as many meetings as you think. Instead I have a lot of me time where I’m just thinking; I’m at a white board drawing by myself. Occasionally I might have someone with me. If I have a call or another meeting, I’ll just block it out if I’m in the zone. That’s unorthodox because it means that you’re breaking social contracts, you’re disappointing someone because you didn’t show up. But if you’re really, really focused, those are the times when the breakthroughs come.

I might go for three days and not sleep because I’m focused in that moment.

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